Cleansing Oil Review: Clinique Take the Day Off

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Clinique Take The Day Off was the first cleansing oil I ever tried. I had always wrongly assumed that oils would break me out – but I was pleasantly surprised, and now I can’t imagine not using one.


“Immediately dissolves even tenacious face makeup, oil and impurities. Glides on, rinses off cleanly with water. Leaves no residue. For all skin types. Apply to dry face with fingertips and gently massage, rinse. Ophthalmologist tested.”



  • Dissolves all make-up, sunscreen and eye make-up effectively.
  • The pH is no more than 6, according to my pH strip. I just wish Clinique would tell me the exact figure – it is not a state secret!
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Fragrance-free


  • Cleansing oils leave behind beneficial fatty acids (lipids) on the skin to beef up the barrier, but this ironically contains no oil! 
  • Those with dry skin might prefer the balm version.

What is a cleansing oil?

  • Makeup remover
  • Water-soluble cleanser, but feels oily
  • Contains emulsifiers so it can be rinsed off

Read more:

Who is a cleansing oil for?

  • Makeup wearers
  • Physical sunscreen lovers
  • All skin types, even those with very oily skin!

How does it smell?

No fragrance. Clinique realises that fragrance has no place in skincare. Take note, other brands.

How does it feel?

The texture is light and feels oily even though it doesn’t contain any oil. However, whenever I use the Medik8 cleansing oil, I can immediately tell the difference –  Clinique feels far more synthetic-based.

How to use cleansing oil?

First part of a double cleanse in the evening

Massage into dry skin

  1. First, I place my hands all over my face for 30 seconds to let the oil dissolve the make-up. (I don’t like massage straight away because pollution particles are so sharp and can scratch the skin).
  2. Then I knuckle under the jawline and cheekbone to release toxins.
  3. Splash with water, it will turn into a milky emulsion.
  4. Massage, then rinse off.

My experiences

It effectively removed my powder and physical sunscreen without breaking me out and even removed mascara without any rubbing!

Do you need to double cleanse when using a cleansing oil?

Opinion is divided, however. Dr Sam Bunting believes that double cleansing is unnecessary, and it probably is if you wear a light foundation. But I have such an oily skin and walk to work along a polluted road every day, so I like to follow cleansing oils, even emulsifying ones, with a low pH facial wash. But the proof is in the pudding. I will have to try her cleanser.

Does double cleansing damage the skin’s barrier?

Chemist confessions were more flexible: ‘generally, it shouldn’t, but you need to listen to your skin. The 2nd step can be a great way to clean off excess oil and grime while minimising additional dryness and irritation. You don’t have to double cleanse every day, just when there are a few extra layers of sweat, sunscreen, makeup etc. So let’s find our balance!

I always ask new clients if their skin feels tight after showering because water alone can dry out some skins, especially in a hard water area. In that case, I recommend they remove a cleansing oil with micellar water.

Would I repurchase?

Yes, I always have it as a standby, but I prefer an actual oil.

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